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Buffy The Vampire Slayer

Buffy Season 1 Episode 02 "The Harvest" - Tvsquad.com Review

Tuesday 6 June 2006, by Webmaster

(S01E02) I neglected to mention in last week’s review that this was really a two-part first episode, and we pick up from the cliffhanger of the previous week. Frequent TV Squad reader/commenter ’doc’ was nice enough to send me a copy of the original unaired pilot (which, as commenter ’Sav’ pointed out, can be viewed on YouTube, though in poor quality), and it’s got quite a few differences from this two-parter. But I’ll save that for another post.

As I touched on a little last week, this is the episode where Jessie becomes a vampire and dies at the hands of Xander (though not exactly intentionally). There aren’t a whole lot of shows that will introduce what seems like a main character, only to kill them off within one of the first episodes. The only other show that did this that immediately comes to mind is The Shield with Terry Crowley, though I’m sure there are others.

This brings up another point about Buffy. While Xander shows a brief moment of anger at the fact his best friend is now dead, doesn’t it seem he gets over it pretty quickly? In fact, this seems to happen quite a few times in this series, where classmates die and everyone moves on, but this is just one of those quirky/funny things that makes this show so good. This is also a theme that comes up in season seven, where ghosts of students past come back to tell Buffy how pissed they are about being dead (in a manner of speaking).

The best scene in this episode was definitely where Buffy throws the mic stand through the window and Luke flails his hands up thinking the sun is burning him, then the resulting Buffy line and Luke dusting. I’d actually have to say this was the best scene of the entire two-parter and is very reminiscent of what we see of the writing throughout the series.

Here’s my nitpick of the episode. When The Master is passing on the "vessel" abilities onto Luke, he says, "my soul is your soul," or something like that. Come on Joss, you write this episode and forgot vamps don’t have souls? What’s with that?

Main points of interest in this episode:
- I believe this was the first we see of Harmony (though in the unaired pilot, she appears a lot)
- Jessie turns vampire and is killed by Xander.
- The Master is defeated for the first time on the show.

Quote of the episode:
Giles: "It may be that you can wrest some information from that dread machine."
All: [Silence]
Giles: "That was a bit...um...British, wasn’t it."
Buffy: "Welcome to the New World."